Sample Exam Questions

  1. Sample Exam Questions by Chapter


General Directions for Take-Home Format:

This exam is due on Wednesday, February 17 IN CLASS per the policy described on the syllabus. It should be typed in 12-point Times New Roman font and double-spaced, and if any references other than the textbook are used, you should include a references section at the end of the question and follow APA format. Information regarding paraphrasing from the APA Power Point slides should be adhered to; if you are not sure whether to cite or not, DO!


Note: When you quote from the textbook, you can simply state after the quote: “Smallman and Brown 2010, p. x.” You do not need to put a reference page in if you only use our textbook. If you use quotes from other sources in the textbook, within your paper you can state after the quote: “Author, date, p. x, as cited in Smallman and Brown 2010, p. x.” You do not need to add a reference page in this case, either. Please note that the above conventions are not APA but are modified to meet our class needs.

Please choose ONE of the following questions. Each question response should range between two-and-a-half to four pages. Staple everything together. Make sure to number your pages. Type the question you are responding to at the beginning of each essay.



General Directions for In-Class Format:

This exam covers the chapter on environment in our textbook. As with previous exams, you need to choose one question from among those below. Write out the questions you are responding to at the top of your note page. In preparation for this exam, you may bring in one 8½ x 11 sheet of paper with handwritten notes on it. The notes may include a thesis statement, a phrasal outline of your response, and not more than three quotations from the chapter or outside sources. You will be turning this sheet in with your exam. Notebook paper and a stapler will be provided for you at the time of the exam. If you have a documented disability that prevents you from handwriting the exam, please contact me to make other arrangements. A maximum of fifteen extra minutes will be made available to those who need it for any reason, but you should attempt to finish your work within one hour.



Chapter 2: History


Exam Questions:


  1. What forces combined first to create Europe’s rapid rise to global power in the 1500s and then undermined European dominance in the twentieth century? What intellectual contradictions existed within European imperialism that challenged it as a political force?


  1. What historical factors have created modern population diasporas, and how have these diasporas changed through time? How did European imperialism shape ideas of race, and to what extent have these historical ideas persisted—or changed—globally?


  1. Many authors now question the future of the modern nation-state system in an era in which globalization is the dominant global trend. What challenges do nation-states face now, and are these more powerful than the challenges nation-states faced during the imperial period? What do you believe will be the future of the nation-state system?


Chapter 3: Economic Globalization


Exam Questions:


  1. Discuss the three key dimensions of neoliberal economic dimensions of globalization: privatization, liberalization, and deregulation. What are they and what is one example of each of them? Do these measures appeal to you? Why or why not?


  1. Identify two strengths and two weaknesses of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). How does this WTO structure relate to the general function of the WTO? Provide one example of a dispute that has been discussed in the DSB. Does the resolution seem appropriate to you? Why or why not?


  1. Both Soros and Ellwood discuss types of reforms to move us away from problems with the Big Three (IMF, WB, WTO). Choose EITHER the four reforms of Soros or the five redesigns that Ellwood proposes. Identify all of Soros’s reforms OR all of Ellwood’s redesigns at the start of your essay. Discuss them, commenting overall on at least two strengths and two weaknesses of the reforms/redesigns and whether you believe that the recommendations are realistic or not.


  1. The European case study focuses on Iceland and Greece. Choose ONE of the nations profiled. How did the fiscal crisis of 2007-8 affect this country? What is your understanding of what the austerity and recovery measures were that were chosen? What entity most affected the measures chosen (e.g. private bank, IMF, World Bank, European Union governance)? What is one specific lesson you can draw from what happened to the country you have chosen to report on?



Chapter 4: Political Globalization


Exam Questions:


  1. Compare and contrast economic and political globalization. What is the nature of the relationship between them? To what extent are the same factors driving these two processes? Can you think of possible examples in which the one might impede the other? Do you think that these two aspects of globalization are inevitable?


  1. Two trends of political globalization have been the evolution of human rights as a concept and the spread of democratization. What has been the context in which these ideals have gained power? Do you think that these ideologies will continue to expand into the future? Why or why not?


  1. The UN has sent peace-keeping troops to nations in which they are not allowed to use force. This is an example of both the power and the weakness of the United Nations. In what ways is the United Nations a useful organization to resolve global issues? Identify three ways in which its charter has limited its effectiveness.


Chapter 5: Cultural Globalization


Exam Questions:


  1. What do you understand about Appadurai’s terms ethnoscapes, mediacapes, technoscapes, financescapes, and ideoscapes? Define three of these terms as they have been discussed in the text. What relationship do the three terms you have examined have to transcultural flows? What is the role of transcultural flows in cultural globalization?


  1. Involuntary flows of people: What is the difference between a refugee, an internally displaced person, and a person with temporary asylum status? What roles should international organizations play in the management of these flows of people? What roles should specific sending and receiving nations play in the management of these flows of people? What moral obligations do you believe nation-states should abide by in making decisions about the lives of these individuals? Identify obligations that we have to either refugees fleeing war in Syria, or refugees escaping oppression and gang violence in Central America?


  1. Flows of information: The text described numerous roles of technology in managing and supporting flows of information. Discuss the roles of the Internet, satellite programming (radio and television), and the creative arts in maintaining cultural globalization. Identify one negative aspect and one positive aspect of this globalization, with reference to at least two of the above categories.


Chapter 6: Development


Exam Questions:


  1. The Millennium Development Goals focus on eight areas for change. Identify three of these goals. Reflect on the reasons these three are part of the list. How will achievement of these three goals change the current state of development?


  1. Muhammad Yunus developed a set of microfinance principles as he established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Describe three of the principles the Grameen Bank uses to determine changes in poverty levels of its borrowers. What aspects of this program make it so successful that the model is now used in a multitude of countries, both wealthy and poor?


Chapter 7: Security


Exam Questions:


  1. The text suggests that proponents of the human-security perspective disagreed with the Realists on a number of points. These scholars began to move beyond nation-state security to an exploration of social and economic issues. Identify THREE of these issues raised in the text and provide an example of ONE of them from either the text or an outside source.


  1. There are at least four traditional security concerns/flashpoints to world order discussed in the text. Identify three of them. Discuss them in detail and comment on which concern seems most pressing to you personally and why. Is your concern rooted more in the Realist perspective or the human-security perspective?


  1. Two individuals have become whistle blowers: Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. They believe that their choices prioritize human or individual rights over nation-states security. Do you think that their arguments are valid. Why or why not?


Chapter 8: Food


Exam Questions:


  1. Discuss what happens to one community with a monoculture export when one of these events occurs: natural disaster, political strife, or new competition from another country. Use a specific example to support your point. Can you think of any ways for a community to survive one of these disasters and remain competitive in the marketplace?


  1. How will water rights, intellectual property rights, and changing climate patterns affect food security in the next ten years? Include a specific example in your response. How do you anticipate the issue of food insecurity to change over this same time period? Give a specific example.


  1. In the Starbucks case study, you were introduced to the original aspirations of Howard Schultz as well as to how Starbucks has evolved over time. What does it mean to say that Starbucks is the “quintessential experiential brand”? Do you agree or disagree with this statement, and why? What role do you expect Starbucks to play in economic globalization over the next ten years? Support your arguments and identify your current perspective on Starbucks, its branding, and its social outreach.



Chapter 9: Health


Exam Questions:


  1. Discuss the following statement: “Structural adjustment programs and intellectual property provisions impact health programs and outcomes on a global level.” Identify the connection between GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) and/or TRIPS (Intellectual Property Rights) and one of the health issues identified in the chapter. You may want to draw from outside information for this, as well (for example,


  1. How do health issues divide the developed and developing world? Give some concrete examples of this issue, drawing on material regarding HIV/AIDS, influenza, and ethnobotany. Be certain to include discussion of all three. Is the nation-state system the best framework to deal with health challenges? Why or why not?


  1. Why is it not possible to think of health issues from a purely medical perspective? In what ways do technology and economic change facilitate the development of new health challenges with both infectious and chronic diseases?


Chapter 10: Energy


Exam Questions:


  1. Compare and contrast the different alternatives to petroleum as an energy source. Is there one energy source that seems likely to emerge as the key alternative? Why? Use details to support your argument.


  1. Why are the Canadian Oil Sands critical to the United States’ energy future? Why is Canada omitted in most discussions of energy issues in the United States? Is the main question about our future going to be “Will there be enough oil?” or “How environmentally dirty must oil become before we stop using it?” How should Canada balance its commitment to the Kyoto treaty against the vast benefits that oil production brings? What do you think Canada is likely to do and why?


  1. Environmental issues impact individuals, communities, nation-states and the globe. Discuss how fracking impacts each of these groups. You should discuss both pros and cons for each group.


Chapter 11: Environment


Exam Questions:


  1. What are some factors that account for differing environmental perspectives on the part of the Global South and the Global North? Identify one aspect of the Global North perspective and one aspect of the Global South perspective. Which of the two perspectives seems most appealing to you and why?


  1. Identify two or three dimensions of the anti-environmental critique. Within this critique, which point seems most compelling to you and why? How are these arguments used or manipulated in a political setting?


  1. Why is it the case that “Simplistic narratives of the Amazon’s destruction ignore the larger social and economic factors that drive deforestation?” What are these larger factors? Identify at least one social factor and one economic factor.


Note: There are no exam questions for the next chapters 12 and 13. We recommend assisting students in writing a general cover letter for a particular position or an admission statement along with a résumé if this meets your classroom schedule.

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